Report: 76ers trade Mikal Bridges to Suns for Zhaire Smith, future first-rounder
Update: Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated:
Not sure if this is already been reported, but the 2021 Miami Heat pick Phoenix traded to Philadelphia with Zhaire Smith is unprotected, according to a team source.— Jake Fischer (@JakeLFischer) June 22, 2018
Again, that is a ton to give up to move up six spots.
The 76ers drafting Mikal Bridges No. 10 was a dream come true. He was born in Philadelphia and grew up rooting for the 76ers. He stayed home for college, playing at Villanova. His mom even worked for the 76ers, and she was PUMPED when Adam Silver announced the selection tonight.
But the NBA is cruel.
Philadelphia has already traded Bridges – to the Suns for No. 16 pick Zhaire Smith and a future first-rounder.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Suns are acquiring Mikal Bridges in a deal that will send Smith to Sixers, league source tells ESPN. Suns will send 2021 first-round pick via Miami in deal too.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 22, 2018
That 2021 Heat pick was unprotected for the Suns and potentially quite valuable. It’s always difficult to forecast that far into the future, but Miami – with an expensive and not-young roster – could drop considerably by then.
Did Phoenix add protections to the selection before flipping it? If not, that is a huge price to move up six spots, and I say that as someone who likes Bridges a lot. Deandre Ayton and Bridges comprise a heck of a haul for the Suns, who are adding talent around Devin Booker.
But there are complications. Josh Jackson isn’t good enough to stress over, but he and Bridges could be a strange fit. Can either natural small forward play up or down a position?
And that Heat pick looms large. It’s reminiscent of Phoenix trading a future Lakers pick – which, incidentally, became Bridges – for Brandon Knight. That backfired. Perhaps, this works better.
Smith is a solid prospect, but maybe a strange fit in Philadelphia. He has big-man skills in a guard’s body. There’s nothing wrong with betting on the hard worker and athletic marvel developing, but he must to fit with Ben Simmons. Otherwise, the 76ers won’t have enough shooting.
Bridges was an easier fit, but apparently Philadelphia preferred Smith and the extra asset.